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Class of 2018 welcomed with unique meteorite gift

Class of 2018 meteorite
August 21, 2014

To welcome this year’s incoming freshmen, the School of Earth and Space Exploration (SESE) and the Center for Meteorite Studies at Arizona State University have dedicated a meteorite to the Class of 2018.

Meteorites are remnants of processes that occurred in the earliest history of the solar system, approximately 4.5 billion years ago.

The Class of 2018’s meteorite, a 381 gram slice of the Seymchan pallasite, was found in Russia in 1967. It is a stony-iron meteorite (pallasite) composed mostly of nickel-rich iron metal and olivine (a yellowish-green silicate mineral). It is thought to have formed at the core-mantle boundary of an asteroid that later broke apart such that pieces then fell to Earth as meteorites.

“This meteorite was obtained especially for the purpose of dedicating to, and inspiring, the Class of 2018,” says Meenakshi Wadhwa, ASU professor and director of the Center for Meteorite Studies. “We wanted to give them a unique gift, something memorable – so this exceptional meteorite specimen seemed like the perfect fit.”

Incoming freshmen are encouraged to visit “their” meteorite, located in the lobby of the Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building IV (ISTB 4), part of the Gallery of Scientific Exploration.

The Center for Meteorite Studies in SESE houses the largest, most significant university-based collection of these unique materials. The Meteorite Gallery is located on the second floor of ISTB 4. The display is open to the public for self-guided tours Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., excluding ASU holidays.